In memory: Dr. Robert “Bob” Eliot Pierson

Robert Eliot Pierson, 98, of Fort Collins, passed away on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Bob was born on March 24, 1919, in San Francisco, CA, to the late Dr. Philip Hale and Grace Elizabeth (Fowle) Pierson.Dr Bob Pierson

Bob attended school in San Francisco through high school. After attending the University of California-Davis, he went on to finish his doctor of veterinary medicine degree at Iowa State University in 1943. One of his first jobs was as deputy state veterinarian in Wyoming, where he met his future wife, Josephine (Toddy) Ziegler. They were married on Nov. 11, 1945, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 1954, after running a private, mixed-animal practice in Saratoga, Wyo., he began a 30-year career as a professor of veterinary medicine at Colorado State University. During that time he taught several food animal courses; ran the large animal ambulatory division; published or co-published many articles and books; ran numerous research projects and programs; taught or tested students in Africa and the Caribbean; took sabbatical leaves in New Zealand, Australia, and Plum Island Disease Center, New York. Several years while teaching at CSU, he was awarded many honors, including the “Top Prof,” or Distinguished Teaching Award. Robert presented many papers at veterinary association meetings in the USA as well as abroad.

In 1984 Robert retired from CSU as professor emeritus. He redirected his talents as a watercolor artist. His art was on the cover of the American Equine Journal for 11 years; featured on the cover of the American Veterinary Medical Association Journal; has a painting in the Cowboy Hall of Fame; displayed his art in Colorado, Wyoming, and Arizona; and has won numerous art awards. He had said, “Any talent I have comes from the Lord. I feel gifts are meant to be shared.”

Physical fitness was important to Bob his whole life. Even in his late 70s, he would challenge younger students to a game of handball, taking pride in winning the majority of matches. He participated in many Senior Olympic meets, winning the speed walking category. Until the last few months of his life, he continued walking and his daily workouts on a stationary exercise machine.

In addition to being a gifted veterinarian, teacher, and artist, he was a devoted husband and father. Most importantly he was a devout Christian. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church. He radiated his Christianity through his actions. Even his art includes a Christian fish next to his name. Prayer was an important part of each day until the very end of his life.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Francis and his twin sister, Jane; wife of nearly 70 years, Toddy. He is survived by his children William Robert; Sally Pierson John (Michael, aka Brillo); Philip Eliot (Roxanne); 7 grandchildren; 4+great grandchildren.

A service celebrating Robert ‘s life will be held later in 2018, at the First Presbyterian Church, and will be published closer to the time of services. A memorial scholarship at Colorado State University in Robert’s name is being formed and donations can be made in his name at a later point.

Bob will be remembered as a dynamic veterinarian and teacher, a gifted artist, a loving and devoted husband and father, and most importantly a dedicated Christian. Bob said that all his gifts came from the Lord; therefore, he gives total credit to Him for his inspiration and success.

Obituaries compiled by CSU Public Relations Staff